Beltane was so last week. Today, May 4, is Star Wars Day - an unofficial holiday to mark the Star Wars films, books and related culture. The date was chosen for the pun on the phrase "May the Force be with you".
You may be wondering what a festival of fandom for a science fiction series has to do with witchcraft.
Well, I've always seen a similarity between the concept of The Force in Star Wars and the way magic seems to me to work. Actually, I should probably say the way magic *feels* to me to work, because when I cast a spell, perform a ritual, do divination or practise any type of witchcraft, I know if it is working because of the way it feels. It really is rather like in Star Wars when Luke is urged to "Feel the Force".
OK, witches don't call it The Force - we are more likely to call it "energy" - although that isn't a very exact term. It certainly isn't energy in the way that scientists measure energy. Perhaps an Ancient Egyptian would have used the words Heka and Ka, Heka being the word for "Magic" and "Ka" being a term for the soul. Egyptians thought activating the power of the soul was how magic worked.
The witch who taught me used to talk about the Web of Life - invisible strands of magical energy - or force - that connect everyone and everything. By sensing those strands of connection you can effect change, which is witchcraft, but also similar to how Obi Wan seemed to do his old Jedi mind trick.
However, most books of spells and rituals tell you what to *do* to perform magic, not what to *feel*. I believe that learning to feel the power of magic, whatever name you call it, is far more important than learning what words to say, what incense to use or what candles to put on your altar.
The way to start learning what to feel is to start listening and trusting your intuition. If you want the right crystal or herb to put in a charm, for example, close your eyes and run your fingers over the ones you have to choose from, then let your intuition tell you what is right one. Likewise, if your intuition tells you it would be good to get in contact with an old friend you haven't seen for ages, then maybe it would.
It takes a lot of practise, but once you have learnt to sense when magic is happening, you'll find it works better than if you simply follow the instructions in any books.
Enjoy the Bank Holiday Monday, and May the Fourth be with you.
Star Wars: The Digital Movie Collection